A different developer recently broke ground on a large new apartment project near the Oregon District that was delayed due to COVID, and other projects seek to bring new housing to a former hotel, a men’s clothing store and an old newspaper building.
“The whole downtown ecosystem is strengthened when we have people living downtown,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “Most of our rental developments are at full or near capacity with wait lists.”
Since 2005, about 694 market-rate apartments have been created in downtown Dayton and 514 units (74% of the total) were developed by Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development, according to data from the Downtown Dayton Partnership.
Their first downtown apartment project in 2016 called the Water Street Flats brought 215 new units to the southern banks of the Mad River, and they opened 133 apartments the following year (the Delco Lofts), 54 in 2018 (phase 2 of the Water Street Flats) and 112 in 2019 (the Centerfield Flats).
The development partners are constructing 71 new apartments at the northeast corner of North Patterson Boulevard and East First Street, a project called the Sutton, located on the same block as the Delco Lofts and Day Air Ballpark.
The Sutton, which broke ground last June and will have a mix of micro units and one- bedroom apartments, could open in September.
Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development also are constructing a 124-unit apartment building called the Monument across from RiverScape MetroPark at the corner of Monument Avenue and North St. Clair St.
The Monument, which broke ground in January 2021, has a tentative opening date of October.
The combined value of the projects exceeds $37 million.
The downtown area continues to have a high housing demand, and the Water Street District’s existing communities have had an occupancy rate north of 97% in the last several years, said Erik Wood, assistant vice president of property management with the Water Street District.
“We currently have a growing waitlist for one bedroom and studio apartments,” he said.
The Sutton will provide affordable and modern options for studio renters, he said, while the Monument will add much-needed units to the downtown area, offering a “refined, high-end product” with beautiful river and city views.
Weyland Ventures, a Kentucky-based developer, opened 40 new apartments in 2017 in a mixed-used building called the Wheelhouse Lofts at 210 Wayne Ave.
Weyland Ventures wants to create a new live, work, play district called Oregon East, and one component is a new apartment building called the 503, located at the northeast corner of Wayne Avenue and East Fourth Street, at the former site of Garden Station.
The project broke ground in January and is expected to take about 15 months to complete, so leasing should start in early 2023 and units should open in the spring, said MK Lindsey, project manager of Weyland Ventures.
The 503 will offer 158 apartments, which will be a mix of studios and one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, she said.
The four-story development will have two main buildings that are connected by a central entrance and lobby, and residents will have access to some underground parking and spaces behind the building, Lindsey said.
Lindsey said the project builds on the success of the Wheelhouse, which also is home to a pub, a facial studio, an e-sports business and an entrepreneurs’ shop.
“The Oregon District is a vibrant, fun, walkable neighborhood, but housing options are very limited,” she said. “We are excited to offer a new housing option in this thriving neighborhood.”
COVID certainly impacted the 503 project, which originally was supposed to get underway two years ago, she said.
Shaky market conditions in 2020 led to financing delays, and that was followed by supply-chain issues and soaring construction and materials costs, she said.
Despite disruptions and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, downtown welcomed about 92 market-rate apartments in 2020 and 30 more in 2021.
Before 2015, downtown had a decade-long drought of new market-rate product. But the urban center has added new units every year since then.
Windsor Companies, the developers of the Fire Blocks District, is working to convert the old Price Stores and Journal Herald buildings into new rental units.
The Columbus-based company also plans to convert part of the Grant-Deneau Tower, a vacant 22-story office skyscraper, into new apartments.
The new owners and developers of the Dayton Grand Hotel at 11 S. Ludlow have applied for state historic tax credits for a renovation project.
Their plan is to turn the property into 103 new apartments and an entertainment destination, with food and drink options, boutique bowling and a golf and games simulator.
Gudorf, with the Downtown Dayton Partnership, said the urban lifestyle appeals to a large and growing segment of the population, who want walkability, density and nearby amenities.
“There are so many advantages of being downtown,” she said, adding that developers wouldn’t be building all this new product if they weren’t certain that there is unmet demand.
New market-rate apartments opened in downtown Dayton by year
2015: Oriel studios, 18 units
2016: Water Street Flats, 215 units
2017: Delco Lofts, 133 units; Wheelhouse Lofts, 40 units
2018: Phase 2 of Water Street Flats, 54 units
2019: Centerfield Flats, 112 units
2020: Huffman building, 72 units; Elks building, 20 units
2021: Graphic Arts building, 20 units; Dayton Arcade, 10 units
2022 (projected): The Monument, 124 units; The Sutton, 71 units; Home Telephone (Price Stores), 20 units
SOURCE: Downtown Dayton Partnership
NOTE: Unit counts are estimates